Preparations are at an advanced stage for the ZimTrade 2019 Annual Exporters’ Conference and Exporter of the Year Awards that is set for October 10-11 in Bulawayo.
The conference, taking place under the theme “Rethink, Reform, Export!” is set to bring together the Government, local exporters, industry players, academia, researchers and sector experts to discuss best approaches aimed at addressing challenges faced by local businesses. The conference will also bring together local exporters and buyers from other countries to share ideas that will boost exports of local industries.
From issues raised during the Annual Exporter’s Conference, key outcomes that are industry-driven will be produced. These resolutions will inform engagement activities that ZimTrade, the national trade development and promotion organisation, will use to facilitate on improving Zimbabwe’s export capacity and the ease of doing export business.
In line with the devolution drive by the Government of Zimbabwe, this is the first time the conference is being held out of Harare and given the potential that Bulawayo represents as an industrial hub and also its declaration as a Special Economic Zone.
As in the previous years, the conference will be followed by an Awards Gala Dinner on October 10. The awards gala is an event where Zimbabwe’s leading exporters in a range of categories will be recognised for their efforts and successes in reaching markets beyond our borders. The conference aims to foster dialogue and linkages between delegates and business leaders from different sectors.
Delegates will also benefit from engagements with several regional and international speakers who have been invited to share their knowledge and experiences. Among the international speakers are Dr Ashraf Mahate, a UAE-based trade and export market development expert and Brands South Africa acting chief executive officer Thulisile Manzini.
The information shared by the speakers is expected to inform decisions on how Zimbabwean products can successfully penetrate and compete on the international markets as well as best approaches to addressing current production challenges. To expose local exporters to opportunities in international markets, the Exporter’s Conference will be followed by a Buyer-Seller Meeting scheduled for October 11.
Export opportunities and entry requirements from different markets of the world will be presented by buyers from Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Mozambique, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.
Botswana presents export opportunities for fast-moving consumer goods such dairy products, confectioneries, condiments and cordials, while DRC offers potential for tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, meat and edible meat, sugar, cereals, cotton, vegetables, fats and oils, nuts and fresh fruits.
Namibia offers a market for Zimbabwean products in the mining, tourism, fishing, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Horticultural produces such as fine beans, mange tout and sugar snap peas, berries, baby vegetables and chillies have potential to perform well in the Namibian market.
On the other hand, Mozambique offers opportunities in sectors such as clothing and textiles, agriculture inputs and implements, processed foods and mining supplies.
The UK and UAE have a market value-added horticultural produces such as mange tout peas, black fermented tea and. Other products such as diamonds, jewellery and sculptures can perfume well in the UK and UAE markets.